San Francisco entrepreneurs Madelyn Markoe and Jessie Barker had to design Media Noche, a new restaurant concept. This was their first time designing a restaurant however, they lacked inspiration. So, they came up with something that everyone will surely love. They wanted the restaurant to be “Instagrammable”.

Instagram has been the center of trends when it comes to food and beverages for a few years. Many foods are designed with this app in mind. Entrepreneurs want their interesting foods to go viral so that they can attract a lot of customers. It’s a great ad campaign that works itself out and you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on other types of advertisement.

Now it’s time to take it a step further by designing their physical space in a way that will inspire awesome photos for Instagram. Everything from wallcoverings to plates is targeted for a pic these days. A few years back, it wasn’t a concern if a restaurant was photo-friendly, but, millennials are looking for something better and they are even opening their own businesses with this in mind. Today, we’re focusing on two of our top favorite places that took advantage of the Instagram and build their brand the right way.

Media Noche

Collins, from Media Noche, remembers when Instagram first entered the conversation. It was a few years ago in San Francisco, when someone who worked on marketing for a restaurant that just opened, asked how the place would photograph. She said that at that time the potential of social media wasn’t her concern, she was actually against it. However, she changed her mind and realized the marketing potential.

Her latest work was Media Noche, a fast-casual Cuban restaurant located in the Mission District of San Francisco. The most important piece was the floor, so she searched through old Cuban designs.

Collins found old tiles that had a dramatic floral design with pink and green. Similar tiles were custom-made for the restaurant. The tiles were the visual anchor for everything else. The other Instagram-worthy pieces are the banana-print wallcoverings in the bathrooms, the exterior mural of pink flamingos with their heads bowed as hearts, and the old-fashioned whiteboard menu with black plastic letters that are removable.

When Media Noche opened in March it was an instant hit on social media. It drew a lot of visits from the most influential Instagram users in San Francisco. They promoted the restaurant to their millions of followers. The food is awesome here and it gets a lot of attention, too. But, the photos of the tile floor that are posted to Instagram are what get people curious about.

The food is awesome here and it gets a lot of attention, too. But, the photos of the tile floor posted to Instagram is what gets people curious about the restaurant and essentially fall in love with the food.

The Riddler

A San Francisco’s champagne bar, The Riddler has been a unique experience for many Instagram hits. “The restaurants that I see that are the most successful, specifically in San Francisco but I think overall, are really concept-driven,” says Jen Pelka, the designer of The Riddler.

She designed the place very carefully, especially the exterior of the building with the amazing mural of a upside-down champagne bottle with its cork just popped. It’s just beautiful how people are having fun and taking pictures in front of this mural and share it online.


Bellota is a Spanish restaurant located in San Francisco that’s also quite an attraction. Few restaurants have taken photo-friendliness as seriously as Bellota, a Spanish restaurant that opened in San Francisco last year.  The entryway is enclosed, creating a pleasing shadowbox effect as you look into the dining room.

The kitchen (Above) is open, and encourages patrons to take 360-degree videos of the space. Many Instagram posts feature pictures of “the ham wall,” which is just what it sounds like: a window that looks into the temperature-controlled room where Bellota stores $50,000 worth of Spanish jamon ibérico.

The most striking thing about Bellota may be the custom lamps at its 25-seat bar, which let patrons adjust the lighting in order to get the perfect shot.

“I’m probably the most avid Instagram user of the group, so I kept bringing it up,” says Ryan McIlwraith, Bellota’s chef. He wanted the lighting to do justice to the restaurant’s tapas plates and signature paellas. “It turned out these lamps we got were just perfect for it,” he says.

The lamps can be tilted or turned 180 degrees, and the light’s intensity can be adjusted up and down. An “advanced feature” allows patrons to rest their phones on the lamp’s neck so as to take a selfie. (I did, and must admit the lighting was lovely.)